Author Interview - Simone Beaudelaire
Welcome, Author Simone Beaudelaire, and thank you for being my guest this week.
I hope you enjoy getting to know a little about Simone and check our her newest release, Where the Wind Blows, on Amazon.
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?
One of the early books that had an impact on me was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I remember so much about it. The vivid details. The charismatic characters. Most of all that the author didn’t shy away from authentic emotion. It’s an ugly cry book—probably my first—and the impact of those undiluted emotions never left me.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
Always, I think. I was making up stories at a very young age. I used to take all my Cabbage Patch dolls and Pound Puppies (and the cat when he would cooperate) onto my bed and pretend we were lost at sea, fleeing an oppressive regime, or going into space. All kinds of scenarios. My stories developed plots and characters in middle school, when I retreated into my imagination to escape bullies. I wrote my first ‘book’ at the age of 14, but it was so bad, I threw it away. I didn’t try again until my undergraduate days, when I started a historical romance… and then left it, and the second book I started (a contemporary military romance) half-finished and moldering, for a decade until I learned to complete books. Now, those two books are done and published, and many of the characters I invented in middle school are around in print as well.
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
A tough question. Okay. I like classic literature, so Shakespeare, Robert Browning, John Donne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow are favorites. I like Poe and Hawthorne as well. On the other hand, I love romance novels. Mary Jo Putney taught me a lot about emotion in romances, how to have a great plot, and how to bring description to life. I also like Lisa Kleypas for her unapologetic heat level.
4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?
I love the creative process, especially that part just past the halfway point when the book takes over and writing it is no longer an act of will. I can’t sleep when I’m in the zone, but it’s a high no drug could match. I dislike marketing. I’m not a businessperson. So, I’m happy to make the art and let someone else sell it.
5. Where do your ideas come from?
From angst. From what hurts me. From unfulfilled wishes and dying dreams. If they can’t live in my reality, by God they can live on paper.
6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
I enjoy singing, though I’m not sure I’d call myself a musician. I guess my other talent is teaching. My students seem to like me well enough. I also have a hobby of cooking and baking.
7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
Hard to say. I would love to be a fly on the proverbial wall overlooking the Battle of Waterloo in Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney. I’d love to be a guest at Othello and Desdemona’s wedding. I’d love to attend the Romany feasts depicted in both Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney and several of Lisa Kleypas’s novels. I’d also love to step into my books and apologize to my characters for my lack of skill when I created them.
8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
Some of both. A number of bullies and jerks who play antagonists resemble my abusive ex-husband. I create characters as a composite of people I know. But they are also parts of my character most people never get to see. They also have imaginary experiences that color their personas, so I guess each well-developed character is bits of this and that.
9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?
As a matter of fact, yes. I wrote the same hero several times, with different faces, background stories, etc. A kind, loving, supportive man who truly knows how to listen. Then I met my now husband and realized who I had been calling out to all that time…
10. How do you come up with titles for your books?
I agonize over them and then something will randomly come to me.
11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
I’m working on a revamp of that first novel I mentioned earlier, a historical romance called Beautiful Rose. It needs some polishing up. Also, a sequel to my short story collection Amor Maldito. This time, I’m focusing on American folklore. Book 1 was about Tex-Mex or Tejano folklore.
12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?
I haven’t entered any competitions. I don’t want to see writing as a race to the top, but rather a playground where everyone gets a turn on the slide. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, only to share what I’ve created with those who care. Readers abound. I’m not going to scramble after them
A Little More Personal
13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
Earn a doctorate, maybe. I’m still thinking about this.
14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
I’d rather not, if it’s all the same.
15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?
Yes. Several times, but most recently I had this happen. My husband and I went to New Orleans for a delayed honeymoon. We’d been married a short time and I was pregnant with our now two-year-old baby. We went on a ghost tour (a New Orleans tradition for our family). In that tour, we stopped outside the Pharmacy Museum and the tour guide told us that pregnant women should not touch or enter the building. I wasn’t showing yet, so there’s no way she could have known. She told us that the former pharmacist used to do experiments on enslaved women and caused their babies to have birth defects. The ghost once trapped a pregnant employee inside the building.
The next day, at sunset, my husband and I walked past the building and stopped at the farthest point of the sidewalk. He embraced me from behind and we chatted for a moment about how creepy the building was. Then, SOMETHING touched my hair. It wasn’t my husband, as his hands were on my tummy. He didn’t see anything, and he was completely plastered to my back. So, what was it? I think the ghost of the pharmacist popped out to let me know he’d noticed me.
16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?
I am. But I don’t have any luck, so I rely on work instead.
17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
Frogs and snails. Not bad.
18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
New Orleans, as mentioned above. I love Brittany, France, but with a family of six, the cost is prohibitive.
19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?
I didn’t have the happiest childhood. My best memories are of reading in my room.
20. What makes you happy?
Walking with my husband, talking about random things. Watching movies with my kids. Cuddling the baby. Ordinary things.
21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
Teaching, keeping house, having intense talks with my husband and kids.
22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?
Nope. I rang up Bobby Pulido when I was cashiering at Walmart in college, but I didn’t know who he was. I did go to high school with Selena’s cousin, but that’s as close as it gets.